Belief high at Richmond: Nathan Brown - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Belief high at Richmond: Nathan Brown

21/04/2008 02:45:19 PM Comments (0)

Richmond have turned around their AFL season by booting 20 goals in successive weeks for the first time since 2006.

But forward Nathan Brown reckons it's how the Tigers are playing when they haven't got the ball that has been the key in the big win over Fremantle and Sunday's dramatic draw with the Western Bulldogs.

"Our competitiveness, our tackle pressure and our defensive pursuits in the game was something I've never seen," said Brown who joined the Tigers from the Western Bulldogs in 2004.

"It was the best we've been.

"We've always been a side that hasn't tackled or hasn't put a lot of pressure on and yesterday our pressure and our tackling and our defensiveness was probably the difference to us being a good side and an ordinary side.

"All the good sides in the league put enormous pressure on."

And with that comes a quality that has unsurprisingly been in short supply at Punt Rd in recent times - self-belief.

"We haven't believed in ourselves much over the last couple of years," admitted Brown, who was again a solid contributor against the Bulldogs with 19 possessions and three goals.

"A good win last week, a good win in round one (against Carlton) - our young blokes are definitely standing up."

As good as the Tigers have been against Fremantle and the Bulldogs - with the exception of the time-on period in the last quarter when they surrendered a 19-point lead - the next three weeks loom as an even tougher assignment.

First up it's the Lance Franklin-powered Hawks at the MCG on Sunday, followed by St Kilda and red-hot flag favourites Geelong.

"We'll really see where we're at," said Brown.

"We've got to do something over the next three weeks.

"... We'll probably go in as underdogs in all three of those games but if we put on the pressure and the defensive mindset we had yesterday, I think we can do some good things."

Brown also echoed the thoughts of Tigers coach Terry Wallace, with both sceptical that Bulldogs fullback Brian Lake was really injured when he claimed to be suffering from a hamstring injury after taking a mark in the dying seconds on Sunday.

When the umpires ruled that Lake was unable to take his kick, the responsibility fell to Will Minson, who calmly slotted the goal that tied the match.

"I don't think Brian was injured, I just think Brian was very clever," said Brown.

"He got the kick to someone else and they got the two points which was what he wanted."

Lindsay Gilbee, the best field kick in the Bulldogs side, raced to the scene in the hope of being given the kick, only for the umpires to decide that Minson had been closest to Lake when the mark was taken.

"I think the umpire may have thought that Lindsay wasn't there in the first place and he looked around and thought Will's probably not the greatest kick," said Brown.

"But unbeknown to the umpire, Will Minson's goalkicking is phenomenal."

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